Chelsea have agreed to pay £115 million ($146 million) for Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo.
On Friday, Liverpool agreed to pay £111 million for the 21-year-old Ecuadorian.
Caicedo, on the other hand, prefers Chelsea, and they have finally succeeded with a bid after having a series of proposals rejected by Brighton this summer.
Chelsea will smash the British record twice in 2023, following the £107 million purchase of Argentina player Enzo Fernandez in January.
Caicedo is still awaiting a medical after being left out of Brighton’s squad for their season-opening triumph at home against Luton Town.
The first sum is thought to be £100 million, with half of the additional payments considered to be fairly feasible, and Brighton has also negotiated a sell-on clause.
Brighton set a demand in excess of £100 million for Caicedo this summer, claiming no one would match it. Chelsea is thought to have already bid £80 million.
Manager Roberto de Zerbi remarked before the Seagulls’ game against Luton that he had “already forgotten” about Caicedo, adding, “Bigger clubs can buy our players, but they can’t buy our soul or spirit.”
Caicedo joined Brighton for £4 million from Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle in February 2021, but he did not make his Premier League debut until April 2022.
He asked to leave Brighton in the January transfer window earlier this year and Arsenal had multiple offers turned down for the midfielder before he signed a new contract until 2027 in March.
Caicedo will be Chelsea’s eighth signing of the summer, following Axel Disasi, Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu, Angelo Gabriel, Robert Sanchez and Diego Moreira.
New manager Mauricio Pochettino has been tasked with overhauling the squad and vastly improving on last season’s 12th-place finish in the Premier League.
Mateo Kovacic, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ethan Ampadu, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Abdul Rahman Baba and former captain Cesar Azpilicueta have all departed so far this summer.